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Placing the Blame: What If “They” REALLY Are Responsible?

Zhou, Xun and Gilman, Sander (2021) 'Placing the Blame: What If “They” REALLY Are Responsible?' Journal of Medical Humanities, 42 (1). pp. 17-49. ISSN 1041-3545

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The new coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, has resurrected a number of historical and sociological problems associated with naming and blaming collectives for the origin or transmission of infectious disease. The default example of the false accusation in 2020 has been the case of the charge of well poisoning against the Jews of Western Europe causing the pandemic of the Black Death during the fourteenth century. Equally apparent is the wide-spread accusation that Asians are collectively responsible for the spread of the present pandemic. Yet querying group actions in times of pandemics is not solely one of rebutting false attributions. What happens when a collective is at fault, and how does the collective respond to the simultaneous burden of both false, stereotypical accusations and appropriate charges of culpability? The case studies here are of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish (Haredi) communities and the PRC during the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Ultra-Orthodox Jews; Chinese; Symbolic communities
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2021 18:06
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2022 02:00

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